How many of you are waiting until you lose 10 more pounds before you upgrade your wardrobes?
How many of you cringe a little when your loved ones tell you you’re beautiful or sexy, and brush off those compliments?
How many of you try to love your bodies just as they are … but feel like you’d love them just a little bit more if they were slimmer or taller?
If your hand is up, you’re in good company. Being a woman is no picnic:
We’re expected to be thin but not boyish
Sexy but not slutty
Stylish but not vain
And obviously we need to stay young forever, no matter how much cash and how many surgeries that may require.
Turn on your TV or flip open a magazine and all you’ll see is ads and articles listing all the things that are wrong with your body: Wrinkles, pimples, cellulite, frizzy hair, uneven skin tone, back fat, facial hair … the list is endless.
It can be hard to remember that no magazine is ever going to say, “Hey, gorgeous, you’re perfect just as you are!” because magazines exist to sell you stuff. Stuff that will hide your flaws, keep you looking on-trend, and make sure you’ve got the glowy skin of a 20-year-old.
And the diet industry is never going to say, “A wide variety of sizes and figure shapes are healthy and attractive!” because the diet industry exists to make money off of your insecurities. I don’t wanna sound like a conspiracy theory nut, here, but I also wanna remind you all that those nasty, confidence-destroying messages we ladies get on the regular? They may seem like they exist to nudge us toward self-improvement, but they really exist to keep us feeling crappy.
So this is your friendly reminder that anyone who tells you you have to do X, Y, and Z if you ever want to look beautiful is just plain full of it. Because beauty isn’t just one thing, one size, one shape, one color, one body type. Beauty isn’t always young or tall or thin, beauty isn’t always white or black or brown, beauty is all of the above! And more!
And another thing … flaws?
No one is without flaws, and it’s those imperfections that make each of us unique. Think of sumptuous raw silk: It’s the nubs and slubs that give it character and make it alluring and beautiful. Anyone who tries to make you feel embarrassed of your “flaws” doesn’t understand how BORING the world would be if everyone looked exactly the same way. We are all imperfectly perfect, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Beauty is everywhere, if you take the time to look for it.
It’s in the wrinkled face and shining eyes of your grandma, it’s in the sassy strut of an acne-prone teenage girl, it’s in the power and grace of a plus-sized model, it’s in the bold confidence of natural hair, it’s in the middle-aged mom done up for a night on the town. And yes, beauty is in Hollywood and on the runway and winking at us from giant billboards. But try to remember that beauty exists elsewhere, too.
Sometimes I feel like people think about beauty like it’s a tiny black dot, when really it’s a giant, diverse rainbow. There are so many ways to be beautiful, and each of us is beautiful in her own special way.
I really don’t care if that sounds corny, because it’s so danged important. And it’s something that’s not said often enough: All bodies are beautiful. Including yours.